The United Automobile Workers union, which represents approximately 49,000 General Motors employees, called for a nationwide strike Sunday against the Detroit-based vehicle manufacturer. The union said the strike was scheduled to begin at Midnight, unless an agreement can be reached in negotiations with G.M.
It would be the first national UAW strike since 2007.
The collective bargaining agreement expired Saturday at midnight. Despite ongoing talks since July, when the union met with G.M. leadership to renew an arrangement in place since 2015, the two parties remain divided on several key issues. The UAW said they are aiming to secure fair wages, affordable health care and better job security, among other things.
In a statement , G.M. said it offered to create more than 5,400 jobs, add over $7 billion in investments and implement improved plans for profit-sharing and health benefits.
“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” the Sunday release read. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”
The strike was greenlighted in Detroit on Sunday during a UAW meeting of nearly 200 regional leaders gathered from at least seven states. The group voted unanimously in favor of the plan, spokesman for the UAW International Union Brian Rothenberg told The Washington Post.
For every auto assembler, there are several manufacturing and supply workers outside G.M. that could be adversely impacted if the plants shut down for any amount of time, Rothenberg said Sunday. “But this is a sacrifice worth making. It’s not just standing up for ourselves. It’s standing up for all of us.”
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said Sunday , “We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our Members, their families and the communities where we work and live.”
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LINK ORIGINAL: Washington Post